Having seen a series of coaches come and go in the last few years, it would be hard to disagree that Juventus look derailed. The Italian giants reached two UEFA Champions League Finals with Max Allegri, each time looking every bit a top European side. Their team was a healthy mixture of youth and experience, with the likes of Paul Pogba and Paolo Dybala looking excellent alongside veterans like Andrea Pirlo and Leonardo Bonucci.
However, a series of chaotic summers has left the Old Lady with an imbalanced, decrepit looking squad.
Although January additions Dennis Zakaria and Dusan Vlahovic have added fresh energy to the club, it is not enough. The return of Allegri has brought a return to pragmatic, dour football and it appears the Italian coach has not developed much in his time away from the club. Indeed, reports suggest that Juve are keen to rebuild the coaching staff, albeit keeping Allegri for next year if he can make the top four spots once again.
A four-year deal worth as much as €9m per year was signed last summer, so sacking the tactician would be expensive. It would also mean that it would be hard to find a proper step forward with the sheer costs involved of removing Allegri. Instead, the Old Lady look set to rejig their coaching staff and move on from several of their current coaching team.
This could put Allegri in a tough spot, with coaches he has worked with and showed loyalty to being removed. If he was to stick around, it would be akin to the situation that Brendan Rodgers found himself when coaching Liverpool in 2015-16; a dead man walking. Elimination from the UEFA Champions League at the last sixteen stage for the fourth year running was seen as simply unacceptable, bringing about big changes.
Juventus legend slams team for second half failure
When you hear Alessandro Del Piero talk about Juventus, it pays to listen. The Italian legend is regarded as among the best ever to wear the black and white, and he did not hold back when talking about their failure against Villarreal. Speaking about the issues that Juventus had on the evening, he told Sky Sports during punditry of the 3-0 loss: “They switched off in the second half and details made the difference. They hit the crossbar, Szczesny almost saved the penalty, but Juventus had demerits in the second half.
“They didn’t have many ideas, they didn’t take risks in one vs. one situations and never played vertically. If you want to create something, you must move the ball more quickly.”
It is a damning statement about a team that has had pretensions to win the Champions League for much of the last decade. Another season has passed by, though, without being able to get over the line – now, the last sixteen is seen as a hurdle too far. For Juventus, something has to change in the summer to get one of the most venerable clubs in Europe playing to their previous standard.